President Donald Trump announced on July 5 that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has resigned.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The president said that the agency’s deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler, will become the acting administrator of the agency.
“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!” Trump added in another tweet.
…on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2018
Pruitt was recently harassed by a woman at a Washington restaurant, who urged him to “resign before your scandals push you out.” It came after several prominent members of the Trump administration were publicly accosted, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant.
Over the past few months, Pruitt has become somewhat of a political liability for the Trump administration, drawing the scrutiny of federal investigators and even prompting criticism from the EPA’s ethics officer Kevin Minoli. Fox News host Laura Ingraham, a prominent supporter of Trump, said in June that Pruitt is using “bad judgment” that is “hurting Trump,” adding that he’s “gotta go.”
The controversy started when Pruitt, 50, was discovered to have paid $50 a night to stay in a condominium in Washington that was linked to a lobbyist whose firm represents oil companies. Pruitt told Fox News that the rental was “an Airbnb situation,” referring to the popular app. Others have criticized him for allegedly wracking up high travel expenses and enlisting aides to get special favors for him and his family. Pruitt also allegedly used office resources for personal matters, which included an attempt to get a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, Marilyn.
Pruitt was a former Oklahoma attorney general who filed a number of lawsuits against the EPA, according to the agency’s website.